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Album Review: Blessthefall - 'To Those Left Behind'

18 September 2015 | 11:09 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

One more for your collection of incredibly similar metalcore releases.

It’s inexplicable why there’s a line between same-old, same-old music that sounds enjoyable and same-old, same-old music that’s pure torture. The new issue from Blessthefall is the former, a true to form jam that’s consumable for any member of the metalcore scene.

The reason that it’s so easy to listen to is mostly because when it does follow the straight and narrow genre path ahead, it does it in a really damn catchy manner. First track ‘Decayer’ weaves the strengths of pop music into the cleans to make the song, as a whole, as memorable as that one sample you heard three weeks ago flicking through radio channels and now can’t get out of your head. Equally strong is, of course, the heavy aspect, a consistent and expected component of the song that leans a little to the effect of I See Stars by the end. For further reference to other catchy jams, see (or rather, hear) the explosive ‘Up In Flames’  and the possessive ‘Keep What We Love & Burn The Rest’, the latter of which will have you questioning whether you’re listening to Blessthefall or The Cab (the jury is still out on that one).

But it’s not all fun and oriented in one direction. There’s a dynamism to the album present in tunes like ‘Walk On Water’, in which uncleans are harmonised and layered to create a dimensional effect, and the song as a whole has an unconventional tempo approach. It’s chaotic, what with the unaligned rhythms, but in an intriguing, as opposed to monotonous, way. The electronica underlay on ‘Looking Down From The Edge’ also toes it over the one-sound-fits-all line, as does the Sleeping With Sirens recalling ‘Condition//Comatose’, which is a feelings-drawer if we’ve ever heard one. There is a problem with that one, however, being that the guitar solo reminds us of a similar one we heard in a certain teen vampire movie’s promo campaign a couple of years back (cough, ‘Decode’, cough).

Paramore-similarities or creative resemblance aside, this album has a distinct emotionality that surpasses the general core sentiment of world-hating and enters a territory unafraid to express ballad-y feelings through anthemic pop tones (see ‘Dead Air’) and project empowerment through the sonic capacity of tracks like ‘Against The Waves’. Most personal is closer ‘Departures’, one of the LP’s biggest and most authentic offerings, soft in its substance but not always in its volume.

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It's pretty straightforward: this album is a classic metalcore album, another cab off the rank, half clean / half unclean, as formulaic as your mum's recipe for Sunday morning pancakes. That sounds like a negative thing, but truly, having another one of these in your iTunes library isn't that bad. Crying? Headbanging inclined? Just like a bit of a breakdown? Blessthefall have got you covered.

1. Decayer

2. Walk on Water

3. Dead Air

4. Up in Flames

5. Against the Waves

6. Looking Down from the Edge

7. Keep What We Love & Burn the Rest

8. Condition // Comatose

9. Oathbreaker

10. To Those Left Behind

11. Departures